It really doesn’t get any better than a good Thai red curry. And if we are talking Thai, then it really doesn’t get any better than Spirit House. Set in the Sunshine Coast hinterland at Yandina, Spirit House is one of my favourite places to eat!
This was one of the dishes we made at the Spirit House Cooking School. Where I was assumed to perform the best as a food blogger out of a room full of slightly less experienced in the kitchen, but where I quite dramatically, was the only one to severely cut myself. Ah, I mean, who needs fingernails anyway. Turns out, I kinda do.
Anyway, this was one of my favourite dishes and I have returned home, to the safety of the knives I know and love, to make this dish countless times since.
On this particular cook I had a batch of frozen Spirit House Thai red curry paste I had made weeks earlier, so I don’t have photos of the paste prep. However it is really easy and I highly recommend taking a Sunday arvo to make a few different pastes, freeze them in portions and then you have a base for an amazing midweek meal that will take no time at all.
- 10 large mild dry red chillies
- 1 long red chilli
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp mace
- 1 tsp white peppercorns, ground
- 3 eschallots, diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 stalks of lemongrass
- 1 tbs galangal, grated on microplane
- 2 tbs coriander root, cleaned and scraped
- 1 tbs lime zest
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp roasted shrimp paste
- 750g [piece of eye fillet, or 4 eye fillet steaks
- 500ml coconut cream
- 2 tbs vegetable oil
- ½ cup curry paste
- 2 tbs palm sugar
- 2 tbs fish sauce
- 8 kaffir lime leaves
- ½ cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
- To make the paste, cut the ends off the dried chillies and shake out the excess seeds. Place chillies in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 10 minutes until soft. Drain and finely chop.
- Combine coriander seeds, cumin and mace in a small frying pan and toast over a moderate heat until aromatic, will take about 3 minutes. Grind this mixture with the white peppercorns in a mortar with a pestle. Add remaining ingredients and pound until you have a smooth paste. Makes 2 cups.
- To make the curry, open a can of coconut cream without shaking it, spoon out the top of the can which will be thick and creamy. Place in a saucepan over a medium high heat, with the vegetable oil and simmer until the mix looks curdled. Stir in the curry paste and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining coconut cream, palm sugar and fish sauce. Bring to the boil and then add the kaffir lime leaves. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes to allow all the flavours develop. Turn off heat but keep warm.
- Heat your oven to 200. Then heat up your BBQ. If you do not have a BBQ you can do this in a fry pan. Season beef with oil, salt and pepper. Sear your beef on all sides until charred on the BBQ or just nicely browned in a pan. If you are using steaks, as I did on this occasion, cook to your liking on the BBQ or in the pan. If you are using a whole piece of eye fillet, transfer to the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes. Best cooked to medium rare.
- To serve, slice the beef into ½cm to 1cm slices, place on serving platter. Pour over the red curry sauce and garnish with peanuts, chilli and lime leaves.